Stevenson finally gets past Lake Forest
BY MICHAEL WOJTYCHIW November 3, 2011
The saying, “a third time’s a charm” definitely held true for Stevenson as it defeated Lake Forest 18-25, 25-20, 25-23 Thursday evening to win the Class 4A Buffalo Grove Sectional. The Scouts had previously defeated the Patriots twice this season.
“I’m a firm believer that having to defeat the same team three times in a season is a hard thing to do,’’ said Stevenson coach Tim Crow. “I’m just so proud of these girls and how they came back after the game one loss. Perseverance pays off.’’
All three games had a common theme: Lake Forest would get out to a big lead and Stevenson would have to play from behind. The difference in the final two games was that the Patriots (31-8) had the arm of Rachel Baader and Lake Forest didn’t.
Baader had 13 of her match-high 16 kills in the final two games, including nine in the deciding game.
“We are kind of a second-game team,’’ said Baader. “In the last three matches, we’ve had the same thing happen, where we lose the first game, then win the next two, where we get in our rhythm and play our game. Once we get the nerves out in game two and play our game, it’s the best feeling in the world.’’
After Stevenson had tied it at eight in the second game, it was Baader who came to the service line and gave the Patriots the distance they would need, helping the team extend their lead to 13-8. Lake Forest (32-5) would only get as close as three once, at 15-12, before Stevenson was able to put it away on an Anne Geocaris kill.
The third game also went in Stevenson’s favor, when another one of its big guns, Liza Pflugradt, turned an 11-9 deficit to a 13-12 lead. The Patriots were able to end the match with Baader converting four of Stevenson’s last six points.
Mary Striedl led Lake Forest with 15 kills, while Tori Lanzillotti added nine. Pflugradt added six kills for the Patriots.
This is Stevenson’s second consecutive sectional title, while Lake Forest had not been this far in the state tournament since they went downstate in 1998.